Hainan Wants To Fly Between LAX & Xi’an

Filed Under: Hainan

We’ve seen an incredible amount of growth when it comes to aviation in China, and in particular we’ve seen huge expansion when it comes to longhaul international flights being operated by mainland Chinese carriers.

This has included a lot of routes that may seem “random,” though this is due to China’s aviation policy. Since 2009 China has had a “one route, one Chinese airline policy,” and with this, only one Chinese airline can operate each longhaul route. There are a few markets where there are exceptions (like Shanghai to Frankfurt), but in a vast majority of longhaul markets that policy exists.

Last I heard this policy is being partly scaled back as of October 1, 2018. For countries with at least a partial open skies agreement (including the US), the policy will be abolished completely, while other longhaul destinations will still have some restrictions.

So the number of nonstop routes between the US and China has increased greatly, and there’s no airport where that’s more visible than LAX. As of now there are planned nonstop flights from LAX to 13 cities in mainland China. You can now add yet another destination to that list, if Hainan’s request with the DOT is granted (I see no reason it wouldn’t be).

Hainan Airlines has filed with the DOT requesting permission to operate 2x weekly nonstop flights between Xi’an and Los Angeles. The airline proposes launching the flight as of December 6, 2018, on Mondays and Thursdays. Hainan intends to use a Boeing 787-9 for the route.

Since the route hasn’t yet been approved, the airline hasn’t yet published a schedule for the ~6,825 mile journey.

Hainan has two 787-9s configurations. One configuration has fully flat business class seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, similar to what I flew between Los Angeles and Changsha a couple of years ago.

They also have a newer business class product, featuring reverse herringbone seats in business class.

It’s not yet known which configuration they’d use for this route.

This route signifies the 14th nonstop flight between LAX and mainland China, as we have the following destinations from Chinese carriers:

  • Air China — Beijing, Shenzhen
  • China Eastern — Nanjing, Shanghai
  • China Southern — Guangzhou, Shenyang
  • Hainan Airlines — Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an (if approved)
  • Sichuan Airlines — Hangzhou, Jinan
  • Xiamen Air — Qingdao, Xiamen

If this route is granted, Hainan will offer flights to double as many mainland Chinese cities out of LAX than any other Chinese carrier.

This would be the only nonstop flight between Xi’an and Los Angeles. Up until 2017, United offered a summer seasonal service between San Francisco and Xi’an, but they didn’t bring it back this year, as they said the route wasn’t meeting their expectations.

What do you make of Hainan’s proposed new route between LAX and Xi’an?

  1. I’d rather boil my plums than financially contribute to a totalitarian nation’s economic and political colonisation of the globe. It’s about time people woke up to the Chinese threat.

  2. Says the person from the country with hundreds of military bases around the globe and is the cause of instability of many ifferent countries

  3. I flew UA SFO-XIY back when they offered it. It was on a 787, and on the way back, you can use the special UA arrivals lounge which offered a hot breakfast and showers too — from United!

    I was in paid C and the loads seemed decent at the front, but who knows how many were upgrades. I think the crew had a multi-day layover in XIY due to the flight not operating daily so that probably added up expense-wise.

  4. We’re flying SEA to PEK on Hainan in Business Class, booked with Alaska miles. It was, at the time, the best choice for us to get to mainland China. I’m really hoping we’re on the 1-2-1 configuration!

    Question regarding the Limo service. Anyone know if we’re eligible for a pick up at hour home(LAX) as we’re on Alaska Airlines getting to SEA? I think I understand that we’re eligible for the arrival in PEK to our hotel Limo service.

  5. @TonyM I booked a Hainan Airlines business class using Alaska miles as well. Unfortunately, the Limo pickup is not available to the fare class the award ticket booked into (J).

  6. @TonyM Also, the new seats for Hainan seem very limited in terms of where they fly to. I believe they have in the single digits the amount of planes that have that configuration.

  7. @Eric +1.
    The amount of destabilization the US has caused around the world over the last almost 100 years is beyond belief. And they still occupy plenty of countries and have ‘operations’ in plenty more. Bringing war and terror everywhere. Supporting the wrong sides. You american readers may not be too aware as the information supply through your press sucks and is controlled by interested parties. But for those who open their eyes to it there is plenty of info to find.

    I would not qualify China as the holy spirit either, but they do it more constructively, making use of the greed and weakness of other nations, then do a debt relief in return for an asset swap. One can argue they at least leave something behind.

  8. don’t quite understand this. They got Chengdu route already, the western china is not exactly economical prosper like the east.

  9. @Charles well good thing China doesn’t need your little pennies nor will the world accept your ideology-engrained radicalism and propaganda.

    Empires rise and fall. The US won’t be here forever and there’s no requirement saying that you can’t be authoritarian to be a super power. China and India are the next in line. Either you like it or now you gotta deal with it. Nobody can stay on top forever. Rome didn’t. China was on top several times and was never democratic. How many crimes and invasions did the British Empire and the United States commit? Too many to count. Don’t even start on colonization and slavery. Ideology dogs like you are stupid and dangerous. All you do everyday is just “chanting freedom freedom freedom freedom isn’t free” that type of BS while trying to get your dirty hands to mess around other countries by shameless sanctions and invasions. The era for nation building and interventionism is over. Learn about cultural relativism!

  10. Has anyone flown on the brand new Dream Feather (1-2-1 reverse business class with 26 seats instead of the usual 30/36 business class seats and the business class seats are a light grey pattern vs the all red look) 787-9 planes on Hainan Airlines like from North America to China or vice versa?

    I know they initially launched the Dream Feather 787-9 planes for domestic China flights but was curious if they’ve started using them on transpacific flights to/from the States…

    Thank you!

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